Non-Inherent Feature Compatible Learning

1 Jan 2021  ·  Yantao Shen, Fanzi Wu, Ying Shan ·

The need of Feature Compatible Learning (FCL) arises from many large scale retrieval-based applications, where updating the entire library of embedding vectors is expensive. When an upgraded embedding model shows potential, it is desired to transform the benefit of the new model without refreshing the library. While progresses have been made along this new direction, existing approaches for feature compatible learning mostly rely on old training data and classifiers, which are not available in many industry settings. In this work, we introduce an approach for feature compatible learning without inheriting old classifier and training data, i.e., Non-Inherent Feature Compatible Learning. Our approach requires only features extracted by \emph{old} model's backbone and \emph{new} training data, and makes no assumption about the overlap between old and new training data. We propose a unified framework for FCL, and extend it to handle the case where the old model is a black-box. Specifically, we learn a simple pseudo classifier in lieu of the old model, and further enhance it with a random walk algorithm. As a result, the embedding features produced by the new model can be matched with those from the old model without sacrificing performance. Experiments on ImageNet ILSVRC 2012 and Places365 data proved the efficacy of the proposed approach.

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